Youth Apprenticeships Toolkit

Type: Toolkit
Topics: College- Career- and Life-Readiness, Curriculum & Assessment, District & School Operations

November 01, 2020

Apprenticeships are an underutilized educational and workforce strategy with proven value that, more and more, has been successfully implemented by schools around the country.

Currently, middle and high schools focus on preparing students to attend colleges or universities. And yet, for many students, this is not the only path—or even the best path—that they can take. A cultural shift is needed for educators, counselors, parents and students to consider successful models of apprenticeships as a viable and exciting educational option. The goal of this toolkit is encourage the creation of school and business partnerships as another viable and expansive pathway to success in career and work. This kit provides resources for secondary and community college administrators to advocate for and build apprenticeship programs of their own.

EXPANDED PATHWAYS will help you get started.



Additional average career earnings of workers who complete apprenticeship programs


Businesses with apprenticeship programs that would recommend apprenticeship to others


Number of individuals that entered the apprenticeship system in 2019


Apprentices who retain employment after their program ends


Number of occupations nationwide with apprenticeship opportunities


Graduates from the apprenticeship system in 2019


New apprentices since January 1, 2017


Growth in the number of apprenticeships since 2009


Active registered apprenticeship programs across the nation

Video: Launch a Youth Apprenticeship Program


Building Your Program

Talking points for school leaders to build partnerships and consensus, recommendations for beginning a youth apprenticeship program and ideas for successful outreach strategies.

District Action Planning Guide

10 questions to help you and your team assess where you are and plan for apprenticeship initiation, growth, or expansion.

Denver Public Schools

Superintendent: Susana Cordova
District Enrollment: 93,815

Cherry Creek Innovation Campus (CCIC)

Superintendent: Scott Siegfried
District Enrollment: 55,000

Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District

Superintendent: Ernest Winston (current);
Former Superintendent: Clayton Wilcox (interviewed)
District Enrollment: 146,000

Kentucky Office of Apprenticeships and Russell County Schools

Superintendent: Michael Ford
District Enrollment: 3,130

This project has been funded, either wholly or in part, with Federal funds from the Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration under the contract number/work order DOL-OPS-16-A-0012/1605DC-18-F-00060.  The contents of this toolkit do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement of same by the U.S. Government.

With questions contact AASA at
Youth apprenticeship has the opportunity to absolutely transform career-connected learning in Colorado. We started out with six occupations. Now we have 19 different apprentice-able occupations in the CareerWise Suite. In Switzerland, our model is based on the Swiss apprenticeship model, which has 230. So, really, the skill is the limit in terms of opportunities students can train for in their youth apprenticeship space.
Bernard McCune

Executive Director for Career and College Success, Denver Public Schools

Bernard McCune
Our Highline promise is to know every student by name, strength and need so they graduate prepared for the future they choose. And if we are going to deliver on that promise with honesty, integrity and authenticity then we have to provide expanded pathways.
Susan Enfield

Superintendent, Highline Public Schools (Wash.)

Susan Enfield